Cabinet Meeting Summary- January 24-26, 2017
The Western North Carolina Conference Cabinet met in Huntersville January 24-26, 2017. The primary focus of their work related to the preparations needed to address the appointment-making process. The Bishop and the Cabinet began by affirming the values guiding this process, including an affirmation that we are all a part of the Body of Christ and therefore this work reflects the work of God. Second, we affirmed the mission of the Church as our first priority; the reason for which we were baptized and ordained. The Cabinet also agreed that consultation with clergy and pastor/staff parish relations committees in preparation for this work was extremely important. Finally we gave thanks for our clergy, their sacrifice, and their calling, as we affirmed faithful ministry in difficult places and our desire to reward faithfulness and fruitfulness.
The Cabinet celebrated the wonderful response of our churches in contributing to the ministries identified in our conference connectional giving. This year, we once again matched the best response we have had in many years, contributing 88%; a half percent higher than 2016. In terms of the Conference budget, this represents a significant increase in dollars for mission. There was appreciation given to the Smoky Mountain District who contributed 99.7% of their missional giving! We offered thanksgiving for those congregations who contributed 100% for the first time, and gave thanks for the ministry in each district, recognizing that participating in the missional giving of our conference, as our first priority before we contribute to personal interests, reflects a spiritual gift of stewardship that strengthens community.
The District Superintendents spent time discussing how each annual conference around the world will be setting aside a week to pray for our denomination as the Commission on “A Way Forward” begins its work. Each conference is being assigned a specific week to invite clergy and churches to pray for making new disciples, for those working on the assigned Commission, and for our life and work together. The Western North Carolina Conference is scheduled to initiate prayers and join the denomination in this effort, February 19-25, 2017. All churches and clergy in our conference are encouraged to finds ways to pray for our denomination during that week.
On January 25, the Cabinet met with the Board of Ordained Ministry Executive Committee to discuss this year’s candidates for provisional and full membership in our conference. This annual meeting offers time to affirm the gifts of ministry within our candidates and to remind us of how important the call into ministry is to each individual. In addition, the Conference Nominations Committee convened to fill three vacancies on the Council on Finance & Administration. These nominations were identified and this work is now being confirmed.
Finally, the Cabinet reinforced its commitment to Thriving Rural Communities and to Duke Divinity School, by affirming that we would honor the five year commitment these Thriving Rural Fellows made in order to acquire financial aid for their seminary education. In addition, the superintendents focused discussion around retirements and the impact this will have on appointment making this year by sharing some of the consultations offered by churches and their insights into the need for pastoral leadership specific to their context. The Bishop and Cabinet closed the cabinet meeting by celebrating the commitment of so many churches and clergy in our conference to the mission of the church.
Resources for Vital Congregations
Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor
GBHEM Leadership Resources
Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church
Englewood Book Review
Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations
Ted Talks: The Golden Circle
Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability
Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability
Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians
Be A Disciple
A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network
Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations
Living As United Methodist Christians
Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials
Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today
John Wesley Sermons: Anthology
Get Their Name
Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit
Canoeing the Mountains
Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People
Community: The Structure of Belonging
RESOURCES TO CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY:
Institute for Emerging Issues
Congregations 4 Children
The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants
The Duke Endowment
The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:
- Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
- Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.
We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org.